A Great Miracle Happens…..
What will those candles of the Channukiah mean to you as you light them this year? Will they be a formality? Will they symbolize material things? Will they allow us to pause and reflect not on the so-called miracle of the Maccabees, but on the miracles that surround us now? As Channukah continues to devolve into a sinkhole of commercialism, we still have the opportunity to see in the lights, the possibilities of tomorrow.
Some of you may remember the opening lines of the erev Shabbat candle lighting prayer that went “Light is the symbol of the divine in mankind”. Let me suggest that we try and focus on that thought this year as we light our candles. Why? Because these past two years of Covid have shown us the power of life, its fragility and the absolute need for us to celebrate life.
What is the greatest gift that we can give each other? No gift can match the beauty, power and possibility of being alive. Remember, we celebrate this every day in the nissim b’chol yom (miracles of life) section of the service and echo it on the first night of Channukah with the traditional Sh’hech’yanu blessing.
So here is a prayer and hope. Take moment every day to celebrate the fact that we are alive; that we have another day and that we are being called to share that gift with others. We are seeing such a need for human companionship and engagement now. Help light the life of someone else. That is a real miracle, to do something that helps another human being. A great miracle happens then, and that is what we are called upon to do.
Rabbi Richard F Address
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.